Monday, February 14, 2011
Medical Mondays: Cupid's Pharmacy
Ah, Valentine's Day.
All the world's rosebushes have buzz cuts and the sound of cha-chings grow ever louder at Pfizer headquarters (a.k.a. Viagraville).
In honor of this day filled with the purest love and lustier musings, I bring you a sneak peak into Cupid's Pharmacy: A Smattering of Historical Aphrodisiacs.
Forget the obvious raw oysters and such. Let's bring on the asparagus and the bugs.
1. Asparagus. Yes, it makes your urine stink. That's a chemical lesson unto itself, but did you know it was considered a go-to dish for French bridegrooms in the 19th century?
2. Spanish Fly. This little bug is really a bug. A beetle, actually. The crushed powder is iridescent like the insect and contains a toxic chemical called cantharidin. When eaten, it causes irritation of the urethra (that's the tube that connect your bladder to the outside world). It can also called priapism (That's an erection that won't go away after 4 hours. Despite what you're thinking, it's painful and NOT a good thing).
3. Conch pistol. In the Caribbean, you can get a freshly made, raw conch ceviche. In the process of hacking the poor invertebrate to bits, the server may offer you this gelatinous, spaghetti-like part of the conch called the pistol. Bahamians swear it's an aphrodisiac. To me, it looks like a Jell-O nightmare.
4. Saffron. It's to dye for, it's expensive, it comes from a crocus, and paella is nothing without it. But, it also contains a chemical, crocin, which has been shown in preliminary studies to work as an aphrodisiac in rats. Pfizer owns all the crocus fields in Kashmir right now.
No. I'm just kidding.
5. Lettuce and Arugula. And you thought salads were just good for your waistline! Well, this isn't really backed by science. It's all hearsay, but hey, maybe it'll get more people eating salads.
Okay. There's a million more aphrodisiacs but Cupid is shutting his pharmacy doors because right now, you just can't afford the copay.
But...he'll be happy to give you a shot, instead.